While Wonder Woman continues to crush it at the box office, James Cameron isn’t very thrilled on the film’s depiction of women.
In an interview with The Guardian, James Cameron did not mince words regarding his thoughts on the biggest film of the summer, Wonder Woman. As part of an interview discussing the 20th anniversary of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Cameron exclaimed:
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards.”
James Cameron would go on to say that famous heroine Sarah Connor was not a “beauty icon” and that she gained the respect of audiences everywhere through “pure grit.”
These comments triggered a response from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins where she said:
“If women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we.”
What It Means
As one could have guessed, most people have been very critical of James Cameron since these comments surfaced. From a warped perspective, one could understand Cameron since women are most certainly objectified in film. However, these comments are horribly misguided considering what the character of Wonder Woman means to so many people.
A high-profile woman character can possess strength and power regardless of their looks. The fact that Gal Gadot is an objectively attractive woman has nothing to do with the characters’ core beliefs. Wonder Woman is a symbol of hope and optimism for the world. In fact, Patty Jenkins has said on numerous occassions that there was a concerted effort on set to not use shots that would appear to linger on Gal Gadot’s body or imply any innuendos for exactly this reason.
Were there people who looked at Gal Gadot with some type of sexual undertone? Sure, but Wonder Woman was nevertheless a strong character with great morals.
James, we all love your films and what you’ve done for cinema, but you might want to think about stopping from mansplaining social issues and get back to working on your four Avatar sequels that keep getting pushed back to later release dates.
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*Quotations via The Guardian